bathroom remodel

Old 11-14-03, 11:30 AM
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bathroom remodel

My 16 year old bathrooms need redone. The main bath comes first as it has cracked shower wall tiles, chipped steel tub, linoleum floor. Plan to install a Kohler 60"x30" cast iron alcove replacement tub (I know its going to be tough to get it in as my bathroom is only 60" wide, but at least it is a ground floor and I will be gutting it-sheetrock, toilet, sink cabinet), and use 12"x12" granite tiles on shower walls to celing, on floor and for new sink cabinet top (concrete backerboard 1/2" in shower walls). I will use a contrasting line of granite midway on the shower walls to give it flavor.

I have never redone a bath before, but redid my kitchen counter (porcelin 12x12 tiles), do lots of automotive work, and am pretty handly. I also have a couple of general contractor friends who I will consult with. I know this is a big DIY job, but the replacement tub fits existing drain, I have a hand truck to bring in the iron tub and strong boys to help manuever it around.

Am I getting in over my head here? Are 12x12 granite going to be to heavy for shower walls? Any suggestions / recommendations? I considered the Americast tub, but the Kohler cast iron looks so much better and durable (drawback is weight).

Inputs would be appreciated, plan on starting work Thanksgiving week to try and get it done in several days working near full time on it.
Old 11-16-03, 11:12 AM
Harry K.
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Good choice on the Kohler Cast Iron. I currently have an Americast and have been unhappy with it since shortly after installation. The finish came off were the tub surround met the tub and it took 6 months to get a rep out to look at it. He claimed that had never happened before and it must be something we cleaned it with, so no warranty. We only used normal cleaners and nothing abrasive. I am going to replace it with a multi-piece tub and surround combo very soon.
Old 11-18-03, 11:49 AM
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I've remodeled baths (3 so far) by myself and it is a big DIY job but very possible. I pay plumbers to set the tubs. It's money well spent, better their backs than mine! I have no experience with granite on walls, but it sounds gorgeous!

General advice:
1) walk through every step, every nail and screw, in your mind so you can ask all your questions to the city building code office in advance. Waiting a day for an answer in the middle of the job can really throw you off.

2) If you haven't done a job before, allow that it might take twice as long as you expect. Be realistic in assessing your experience: Tiling shower walls presents different problems from countertops, even though they are both tiling jobs.

3) I like to prepare with books and videos. The videos from Fine Homebuilding are super, Ortho books are decent, Litchfield's book "Renovations" is old but excellent.

4) If you can get someone (a SO?) to run to the HW store for you, you'll move a lot faster.

5) Quit for the day when you get tired. All of my really horrid mistakes like flooding a room, installing something backwards, hurting myself, come after I should have stopped. (Every DIY'er knows about this one ).
Old 11-20-03, 08:36 PM
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Harry K and marcus!,
Thanks for the inputs. I think I will be happy with the cast iron tub (although it looks like I will have to remove dry wall on one bedroom and temp remove a stud).
I also appreciate the tips from Marcus! - I plan on taking a day off to go ride dirt bikes with my youngest son in the middle of the job - and if the whole job gets done in a week-ten days I will be amazed! I will likely have to go much slower than expected doing the large tiles on the wall - otherwise they will end up falling off (chip the new tub) and be totally uneven! I was also stongly considering paying a plumber to set the tub - your comments make this look like a given now (I would hate to have to ruin the walls in a week or two due to a slow leak in the tub drain).
I will let you know how it goes and try to post some pictures of the finished product in Dec.
Thanks again,

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